1998 Jetta has an AC problem

I was driving towards the freeway, I wasn’t even on the freeway, I was taking back roads, and I turn on the AC, and the car turns off. So I coast to a stop, turn it back on drive a bit, car shuts off, I figured out it was the AC, drive back with the AC turned off, get back home show my dad what happened, car shuts off when tested. We test the AC a few times more, then after a while car just keeps running even with the AC on, but when on AC mode, it won’t blow cold air. But the car no longer stalls with the AC turned on.

I recently replaced the ignition switch in my 1998 Jetta.


Assuming it runs normally with the AC off, I’m guessing that your AC compressor is binding when the conpressor clutch is engaged and loading the crankshaft down. That’d mean the compressor bearings are shot and the assembly needs to be changed. Pop the hood with the engine running and watch while your dad engages the AC. I’ll bet you see the belt wobble and its load on the crankshaft becomes obvious.

I’d say that mountainbike’s explanation gets you through half of the story. A binding compressor was stalling the engine.

But now, for whatever reason, the car is running fine but you have no AC because the compressor isn’t even trying to engage anymore.

Either way, the most likely “diagnosis” is the same - a new A/C compressor. (If you want to have A/C that is). Brace yourself for a large bill.

I can manage without AC for a few months, but I know it will probably be good to have soon, but otherwise the car is driveable?

I guess that may also explain the squeaking noise that the fan made when I left the fan on for a while?

Thanks for the help!

If by the fan you mean the blower fan, then no. All the blower fan does is move air around inside of the car. The bits that heat or cool the air are separate. So if you have a squeaky blower fan, then you just have a squeaky blower fan.

If the car isn’t stalling right now then I’m sure its fine. If it stalls again you could unplug the A/C compressor and see what happens.